Writer: Barry Worthington
Date:Monday January 24 2011
Wigan Athletic face Aston Villa tonight with an opportunity to put Saturdays poor display at Arsenal well and truly behind them.
The game is absolutely massive, a win would lift the Latics out of the bottom three and put them level on points with both Villa and West Brom whom Martinez and his team face next Tuesday.
Worries at the centre of defence with both Antolin Alcaraz and Gary Caldwell out, looks like we will see Steven Caldwell and Steve Gohouri partnering each other in the centre which should see Emmerson Boyce returning to the starting line up at right back.
Villa of course will have new signing Darren Bent spearheading their attack, after his goal scoring debut at the weekend he will be brimming with confidence so it will be important to cut his supply.
We need to start winning at home, just two all season, if we are to claw our way from the danger zone and this is a game where that winning streak needs to start.
Latics goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi:
'We now have 15 games left of the season, and the next three games are going to be massive for us, with Aston Villa, West Brom and Blackburn coming up'
'These three games I think are going to shape our season, and we have to concentrate and do ourselves justice.
'This game is huge. One point isn't good enough against Villa - we need to be picking up all three and we'll need everyone - the players and the fans - pulling in the same direction to do that.'
Tom Cleverley is injured, first choice centre back pairing Gary Caldwell (suspended) and Antolin Alcaraz (injured) are both out, but McCarthy and Moses could well return.
Al Habsi; Gohouri, S Caldwell, Figueroa, Stam, McArthur, Diame, Di Santo, Watson, Thomas, N'Zogbia, Boyce, Rodallega, Pollitt, McCarthy, Gomez, McManaman, Moses, Lopez
So much depends on our Charlie, let's hope he's on fire
Courtesy of Bernard Platt/Wigan Athletic
Delph and Ireland both out injured
Friedel; Cuellar, Collins, Dunne, Clark, Albrighton, Petrov, Makoun, Reo-Coker, Downing, Agbonlahor, A Young, Bent, Marshall, Pires, Delfouneso, Bannan, Herd, Baker.
Has to be Bent, is he really worth so much?
Latics and Villa have met 13 times previously
Latics have 4 wins, Villa 6, draws 3
Last Six Meetings
16/03/2010 - Premier League - Latics 1 Villa 2
15/08/2009 - Premier League - Villa 0 Latics 2
31/01/2009 - Premier League - Villa 0 Latics 0
26/10/2008 - Premier League - Latics 0 Villa 4
03/05/2008 - Premier League - Villa 0 Latics 2
29/12/2007 - Premier League - Latics 1 Villa 2
Jon Moss (Leeds)
Why not take a look at our excellent `Meet the Ref` article
Jon Moss Card Watch 2010/11
Games - 18, yellows - 32, reds - 3
Head says 1-1
Heart says Latics to snatch it 2-1, as always going with the heart
Date:Monday January 24 2011
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